Ohio, North Carolina Legislators Join To Defend Wright Brothers' Legacy | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On YouTube

Airborne-Unlimited-06.27.22

Airborne-UnCrewed-06.21.22

Airborne-Unlimited-06.22.22

Airborne-Flt Training-06.23.22

Airborne Unlimited-06.24.22

Tue, Oct 29, 2013

Ohio, North Carolina Legislators Join To Defend Wright Brothers' Legacy

Release Letter Signed By 34 Historians Disputing Claims About Gustave Whitehead

State legislators from Ohio and North Carolina held a rare joint news conference on Thursday, Oct. 24, to defend the legacy of the Wright brothers against a claim by the state of Connecticut.

Ohio State Rep. Richard Perales (pictured, right) and North Carolina State Sen. Bill Cook (pictured, left), linked by a Skype connection on the Internet, spoke from historically significant locations in their home states to rebuke a law Connecticut passed earlier this year that claimed one of its own residents, Gustave Whitehead, flew two years earlier than the Wright brothers. They also released a statement signed by 34 historians, archivists, authors and others that said the available evidence “fails to support the claim that Gustave Whitehead made sustained, powered, controlled flights prior to the Wright brothers.”

Wilbur and Orville Wright lived in Dayton, where they developed the principles of controlled flight and built their first airplanes in their bicycle shop. They made their first flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C., at a location now within the town of Kill Devil Hills. Historians regard their powered flights of Dec. 17, 1903 as the first successful manned flights of a controlled, powered, heavier-than-air machine.

“Ohio and North Carolina are known to have a longstanding rivalry over who gets to claim the Wright brothers, but the simple fact is we both do,” Perales said. “Heritage organizations in Ohio and North Carolina have worked together for years to preserve our common heritage. Today, Ohio and North Carolina stand side by side for the Wright brothers."

"I’m honored to be the North Carolina state senator for the area where powered flight was first accomplished,” said Cook, who represents an area that includes Kill Devil Hills. “I’m also pleased to stand with Ohio State Representative Rick Perales on this issue.”

Perales, of Beavercreek, OH spoke from the hangar of Wright “B” Flyer Inc. at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport south of Dayton. Wright “B” Flyer is a nonprofit group that flies a modern lookalike of a 1911 Wright airplane. Cook spoke from the Kill Devil Hills town hall, next to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where Wilbur and Orville made their flights.

Supporters of the Whitehead-flew-first claim point to a fanciful newspaper article published in Bridgeport, CT, in 1901, and some statements gathered decades later. The claims have been studied and dismissed by historians, but they resurface from time to time and receive fleeting media attention. What’s different this time is what Perales called Connecticut’s attempt to “rewrite history through legislation.” The legislature passed a bill declaring Whitehead was first to fly, and Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy signed it into law on June 26.

The statement the legislators released carried the names of some of America’s most noted aviation historians, including Wright brothers biographer Tom D. Crouch, former Air Force head historian Richard Hallion, aerospace historian James R. Hanson and others. “Whitehead’s claims were rejected by local newspapers and by individuals in the best position to judge, including virtually all of those who funded his experiments,” the statement reads. “We strongly urge those who support the Whitehead claims to seriously reconsider the evidence in the case, and to rethink their position.”

Perales also announced he has introduced a resolution in the Ohio House of Representatives that would repudiate Connecticut’s claim and invite Connecticut citizens to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills and Ohio’s Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the National Aviation Heritage Area—all National Park Service sites dedicated to the legacy of the Wright brothers. Cook noted his own state passed a resolution chiding Connecticut the last time the claim surfaced in 1985.

Cook said the only new evidence behind Connecticut’s recent action was an “extremely blurry” image purported to be a photo of Whitehead in flight that is not accepted by scholars. “Leading aviation historians and scholars continue to endorse the Wright Brothers as the first to accomplish flight,” Cook said.

Perales, whose district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field where the Wright brothers continued their flying experiments after 1903, said the historical facts are important to Ohio. “What the Wright brothers did more than a century ago led directly to Ohio’s aerospace industry today—one of the largest sectors of our state’s economy,” he said. Wright-Patterson, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and aerospace companies across the state employ more than 100,000 workers and support “tens of thousands of additional jobs,” he said.

Facilitating the news conference were the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) of Dayton and the First Flight Foundation of Kill Devil Hills. Both are not-for-profit organizations. NAHA is also the congressionally designated management entity for the National Aviation Heritage Area, an eight-county region of nationally important aviation heritage sites in southwestern Ohio.

FMI: www.aviationheritagearea.org, www.facebook.com/pages/First-Flight-Foundation/193506944130882

Advertisement

More News

Airborne-Flight Training 06.23.22: Space Training, Piedmont-ALPA, OSH22 PPC

Also: Second Denali, Pilot Frustrations, BMFA Centennial, Opposition to Republic Bid Sierra Space is creating an astronaut training program comprising a commercial human spacefligh>[...]

Airborne 06.22.22: Fire Boss!, BGen McGee Laid To Rest, Buttigieg Threats

Also: Hartzell M20M/TLS/Bravo Prop, Stratolaunch 7th, Radar-Altimeter Concerns, Sierra Space At this year’s Aerial Fire Fighting conference in Nimes, France, Fire Boss LLC si>[...]

Airborne 06.20.22: SMARTWING King Air 350, 'Rise Above' Returns!, 2nd Denali!

Also: ALPA/Delta Letter, Hydrogen-Powered Airship, NJ Airport Improvements, Bahamas Nixes COVID Tests Inflight testing of a Beechcraft King Air 350 fitted with Tamarack Aerospace G>[...]

Airborne 06.24.22: Helicopter SAF, Evergreen 747 4 $ale, Federal Air Marshals

Also: Lunar Fission Reactor, Hawker Hunter Incident, HAV Airlander Airships, Honda and FlightSafety An Airbus H225 has performed the word’s first helicopter flight powered by>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.25.22)

Aero Linx: The Japan Business Aircraft Association (JBAA) The Japan Business Aircraft Association (JBAA) was established in May 1996 as an incorporated nonprofit organization (in A>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2022 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC